Four years ago, the first wave of anti-paparazzi streetwear came to life by way of Sir Paul McCartney’s DJ, Chris Holmes. Holmes, who spent seven years opening for the Beatles on his world tours, was upset with how his reflective clothes ruined any photographs of him on the podium.
But instead of whining and throwing out his wardrobe, he saw an opportunity for this to become something even greater. Something that could potentially go viral. He went on to create the “Anti-Paparazzi” and “Flashback” collections through clothing community Betabrand.
Today, reflective clothing is gaining more traction, and not for practical, paparazzi-evading reasons. Hypebeasts that run the streets are slowly rotating reflective wear into their ensembles. And instead of ruining any street style snaps, they’re adding another dimension to the photos by making the clothes literally shine.
At the forefront of reflective wear is Ishu. Worn by the likes of Nick Jonas, Kevin Hart, and Winnie Harlow, they’ve been in the reflective game since 2016.
They first started out with a stylish scarf, but now they also sell reflective bags, phone cases, and caps too. Their psychedelic, reflective patterns will have you questioning whether or not you’re staring into a wormhole.
Playing to a niche audience of rappers and their fans is Reflective Nation. The brand takes the reflective material from 3M – yes, the 3M behind Scotch Tape — and creates puffy coats and sweatpants you’d want to wear to apres-ski.
Their clout naturally drew some of the biggest names in rap, and them wearing Reflective Nation’s clothes naturally led to all their stock selling out (at least at the time of writing).
A post shared by SATURDAYS NYC (@saturdaysnyc) on
Saturdays NYC also recently teamed up with Porter on a line of reflective bags for the everyday commuter. Each of the five bags in the collection is finished with reflective zippers and a branded logo that combines both Saturdays’ and Porter’s logos.
Unlike the other labels that do it for style, this collaboration also plays on the practical, with the bags being every biker’s dream accessory.
With so many options at your disposal, trying this trend is easier done than said. There’s a piece for every part of your ensemble, although you just need one to fully flash out the paparazzi.
Who knows, maybe in a couple of years you’ll be up on your own DJ podium wearing a piece of reflective clothing, discovering a new viral style trend yourself.
(Featured photo: Reflective Nation)